The birth of Elliot was in some ways ironic and similar to her brother's two and a half years ago.
Things all started last Sunday Oct 4th. We spent the morning watching the UAH hockey team's open practice at the iceplex. I actually really enjoyed walking around with Butters and watching his fascination with the defensemen's practice. He was so involved that he wouldn't watch the forwards practice at all.
After the practice we ran a couple of errands and grabbed a late lunch on the way home. The contractions had been off and on all morning but around 1400 they started getting more painful and closer together. They stayed like this until around 1700 when they tapered off. W went ahead and made dinner but I didn't feel like eating at all. Around 1800 they picked back up and around 1830 I called my ob's office. The on call doc said to go on in to L&D. We packed up the car and called my mother in law to come get Butters from the hospital. Once back in L&D the nurse checked me and hooked me up to the monitors. Contractions were every 1.5 to 2 min apart and strong. I was bout 2.5 cm and 50% and -1 station. After an hour I hadn't progressed at all so the on call doctor gave the order for me to leave and come back when things got more intense. I was once again crushed and annoyed. I wasn't allowed to walk around and help things but made to stay in bed.
When we got home I tried taking a warm bath which didn't help much at all. I tried sitting up and rocking which helped just a little. Laying down was the worst and finally aroun 0030 I was able to get my body to relax enough toget a little sleep. I woke up about every hour from strong contractions. Being the stubborn individual that I am when my alarm went off around 0430 I decided to go ahead and get up and go into the office. I had a doctor's appt at 0915 that morning and thought that maybe working on things would take my mind off of what was going on. I got to the office around 0530, moved the small refrigerator that was in a common area with the guys to under my desk and got to work. Surprisingly being pissed off Igot a lot of work done that morning. I did feel really nauseated and tried to just eat some oatmeal which made me even sicker. I finally caved in and sent W a text message asking him to come get me and take me to the appt. By this point the nausea was bad and any kind of touching of my belly really hurt.
Once in the office my doctor went ahead and checked me and I was 3 to 4, -1 and 50% effaced but very soft. I told him everything that had gone on and his response was that he completely saw how I was feeling so bad and could feel me having contractions. He then asked if we wanted to hve her today. We were a little shocked to say the least. I got dressed and we met him in his office. He went ahed and called over to L&D to tell them we were on our way. We drove over and on the way I called work and family to let everyone know that we would have her by later that afternoon or early evening.
When we got to the room IV's were started and monitors attached. I was still having contractions regularly. They were about 1.5 minutes apart and alternating strength. I would have one big one followed closely by one strong one. The order was given for a low dosage of pitocin to be given to help them become consistantly stronger. I was started on the lowest dose and about 45 minutes later my ob came in to break my water. About an hour after this the contractions were to the point that I could no longer talk through them and had to turn the tv off. They were about every minute and really starting to hurt more and more. Soon after I reached this point the anasthesiologist came in to give me an epidural. It took very quickly and the only small problem was my left hip was still in a lot of pain. After rolling 45 deg to my left the pain subsided and I sat up in bed to better help my body to what it needed to do.
This is where things got interesting. About 10 minutes after sitting up I said something to W about feeling a lot more pressure. Like everythng else I thought it was nothing and just figured it was her getting lower. My nurse came in followed by my ob who decided that they needed to check again. Good thing they did because when he checked I was on the verge of her crowning. He quickly changed while the nurse set things up. She had me do one practice push with a contraction and quickly told me told me to stop and not push anymore until my doctor was ready! I rested through couple while they finished getting ready and 2 contractions later at 4pm weighing in at 6lbs 15 oz and 19.5 inches long Elliot Avery was born. She had a head of hair and was a little slow to cry.
She was taken over to the warmer and dried off and that is where the nightmare began. I heard the same words I had heard 2.5 years ago. She's grunting. Great. They continued to work with her and got her crying good but the grunt was still there. The NICU was called for a consult and the decision was made to take her to the NICU for obersvation. Luckily I was allowed to hold her for a few minutes. I was in complete amazement of how tiny she was. Then W took her and followed the nurse up to the NICU.
I was patched and cleaned up and after what felt like an eternity as my nurse was taking me up to the 5th floor W returned. The nurses were hopeful that she would be with us soon so we really weren't too worried. After getting set up in the room at 1930 I got the call from Dr. Dworsky. She was being admitted. They tried everything they could but the grunt was still there. At this point I was hysterical to say the least. All I wanted was to room in with her and have her be healthy and once again she wasn't.
At 2000 we went to go see her. I have to admit she looked really good compared to how Alvin did. I got to hold her and the nurse went over everything. She was amazed at how much we remembered. An old friend from Space Camp now working there came over to see us. The NICU was a bad place but it helped knowing someone working up there. Far too soon it was time for us to go so we left our little girl. Luckily when we made our way down the next morning we got wonderful news that she had already been moved to the progressive side. Apparently she screamed all night and the grunt completely went away.
Over the next few days there were highs and lows. We were told many different dates about when she would go home and how many rounds of antibiotoics she was being given. I broken down many times during it all. I was mad, frustrated and just genearlly depressed that she wasn't with me. I was discharged on Wednesday and continued to go to every care time barring the midnight and 4am ones. Thursday morning I got the news that her weight had dropped 4oz in one day and she had jandice. I fed her pumped breast milk in a bottle and she was wrapped in a billi blanket for 12 horus.
On Friday we got the best news yet. I had been told the day before that there was a possibility she would go home. At the 8am care time I was sitting beside her bassinet feeding her a bottle when the neonatologist made rounds. Her bilirubin had went down and they were ready to discharge her! I waited to call W and tell him until I spoke with Dr. Dworsky personally. He was impressed that given the news the day before I already had her a pediatrician visit ready and said that she was ready to go home.
The next 2 hours went by so slowly. I ran outside the NICU and called W. He was of course also thrilled to be having his "little peanut" coming home. While I waited I sat and just held her, and slowly got her dressed to visit the outside world for the first time. Finally it was time for discharge and after signing the paperwork I pulled the car up and packed up her and all of the clothes, bags ect and headed to the doctors office.
Her peditirican was happy with her. At that point she had lost 5oz but he said it was to be expected. His only concern was her jaundice but he gave us instructions to keep her in sunlight when we could and call if we noticed her being more yellow.
The days that have followed have been sleepless but very good. She nurses wonderfully and sleeps around 3 hours at a time then wakes to nurse and nurses for about an hour off and on. Duing the day she sleeps great in her bassinet but after her 1 to 2am feeding only wants to sleep on my chest. I can't argue too much though. I can deal with that as long as she is home now.
I've been posting pictures on my flickr site that you can see here.
Today she turns one week old and I am very happy that I've found the time to tell her story even though it was a much longer post than I expected.